Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reading, Reading and More Reading

I've been reading a ton lately. I'm currently reading 3 books using 3 different mediums: print, Kindle for Android, and audiobook in the car.

My current print choice is The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan  (YA), a companion book to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I had mixed feelings about Forest, but after meeting the author and hearing her more detailed thoughts on the story and her writing in general, I felt more inclined to read the second book. It's not a straight sequal, instead taking place in the same world around 18 or 20 years later. I think I like the pacing of the second book better. It's just as bleak, dark and haunting, and I mean those things in a good way.

The book I'm reading using the Kindle app on my phone is my first foray into ebooks. Part of me is just excited to read a book in a new way. I am definitely In for a Kindle, or a Nook, at some point in the near future. Being very much a NON-early adopter, I want to wait for the next upgrades and see what's the best deal for me. So, I won a free e-book copy of Trail of the Tudor Blue by Gwen Roman from a Publisher's Weekly blog promotion. Now, the cover art is something I admittedly would walk right past and even avoid if I saw it. It's a shirtless dude with super cut abs, looking all, "yo, what up?" which doesn't really tell me anything about the book other than it probably has a sexy guy in it. The story is a fast-paced crime caper, and occassionally quite funny. This is the author's first book, and I think it's a good read if you like commercial fiction with a mystery and romance slant. For the cover, I would personally have gone with an image of a woman dashing through a cobblestoned European street, maybe with a shadowy mysterious guy in the background.

The third book I'm listening to as an audio book is Vixen by Jillian Larkin (YA), which is the April pick for the YA Book Club group on Goodreads. I'm about a quarter of the way in, and it's already taken a few turns I didn't expect. It's about a group of girls coming of age in 1920s Chicago, complete with speakeasies, gangsters, bobbed haircuts and midwestern aristocracy. I'm a bit surprised at the reading age recommendation of 12 - 17 since the subject matter is pretty mature for a 12-year-old. I like that each chapter features a different girl's voice, and I also appreciate that it's written in third-person; for awhile it seemed like every YA book was first person, and that tends to grate on me after awhile. Personal preference.

Recently finished:
So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (YA), on audiobook. I love pretty much everything he writes. This was a quick, fun read about a NYC teen named Hunter who helps define what's cool to the people who make cool happen. A rather dangerous adventure ensues while Hunter and his new friend unravel a conspiracy of sorts, trying to track down one of Hunter's coworkers who has gone missing. There are some great pop culture observations here, plus some sly working-in of larger thoughts on consumerism and the global economy.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (YA) on audiobook. I referred to this as 1984-for-teens at one point, which is a total generalization, but it kind of fits. Those who have just turned 18 are surgically "cured" of love (lobotomy?), keeping this near-future society rational and free from delirious folk who do terrible things in the name of love. Marriages are arranged based on scores from the test that qualifies them for their surgery. Lena discovers through her new friend Alex that there is a world beyond this, where "Invalids" live free from the confines of their society and can love and marry whoever they want. I wanted to like Alex more than I did, he seemed a bit flat. I liked this book for the most part, especially the quips at the start of each chapter that wove together psuedo-science with religious texts that defined their culture. It leaves you with a total cliffhangar though; wait for book 2 to find out what happens to Lena.


  1. Vixen looks cool. Im thinking of checking that one out

  2. So we are both Chicago suburbanites! I am in Evanston. Great post. I liked the one about the list you made when you left your parents' house. I've made lists like that since forever.



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